Head Space

As it stands, my entire technology inventory consists of a bog standard Nokia, Dell Inspiron laptop and 2GB I-river MP3 player. I’m determined to limit it to that, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult. The world moves at breakneck speed, and we scarper behind trying to catch up. Two houses, two cars, two television sets, two phones… it all seems too much! Luxuries have become necessities, without which, we just can’t function. Modern-day spiritualists, it seems, are faced with a unique challenge: the art of living is not how big we can make it, rather how small we can keep it! Some say we should just embrace technology and engage it in our spirituality. Rather than fighting the digital current, they say, why not just redirect it in a positive way? After all, isn’t it practical to move with the times?

Sounds good, but exercise caution, lest we may lose the plot. It’s great to connect with people hundreds of miles away, as long as we don’t forget to say hello to our neighbors. It’s nice to know what’s happening in every corner of the world, but let’s not forget to make a positive impact in our immediate circle of friends, family and community. It’s a treat to have entertainment and amusement online, so long as we don’t sleep through the exciting opportunities awaiting us in the physical world. It’s empowering to have access to so much knowledge, provided we don’t just memorise stacks of information with little sign of actual transformation.

Technology often increases quantity, but can potentially end up eroding quality. In ancient times, for example, sacred scriptures were few and far between, hand-copied, and in the possession of only the most fortunate. One saint’s manuscript of Srimad-Bhagavatam, the crest jewel of India’s spiritual wisdom, was blotted, smudged, and rendered practically unreadable due to the tears of love which were shed during his reading. Today, such priceless books are readily available at our fingertips; read them anywhere and anytime on our IPhones, IPads, Kindles and Laptops. Our shelves are lined with the hard copies – big books, small books, deluxe collector’s item and all-in-one version – a veritable library of wisdom! But how much quality time have we devoted to reading them? And when we do, are we in the right headspace to draw the unlimited inspiration which is available? With improved access let’s simultaneously intensify our deep contemplation and absorption in the subject matter. After all, a few short sentences, properly digested, can change our entire life.

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